North Dakota government officials rocked up to the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami to lure cryptocurrency miners into their greener pastures. They came with the promise of the “cleanest crypto on the planet.”
The North Dakota Commerce Department dropped $35,000 on the trip, saying it expected a return of 20,000% or more from its presence at the conference.
The department announced that the state has already secured $3 billion of crypto investment and is close to attracting another $3 billion worth of projects.
North Dakota hopes to end its reliance on agriculture and oil by enticing crypto mining companies to set up in the Upper Midwest state. There are no tax breaks or funding as the state is relying on its natural assets.
It’s known for cold, dry weather which can help chill out overheating mining rigs. Add into the mix cheap electricity, and promises of the cleanest energy in the world, and it’s attractive to some mining companies to relocate.
North Dakota’s selling point
Every year across the gas and oil fields of the U.S., huge volumes of excess natural gas that is uneconomical to pipe anywhere is burned off, wasting energy and churning out greenhouse gases.
Increasingly miners are starting to set up rigs to make use of this by-product of the oil industry. It’s not just good for the environment, but financially too as they get block rewards and can sell the associated carbon credits.
ND Commerce Commissioner James Leiman said on local radio’s Chris Berg Show that he wanted to position North Dakota as having the cleanest crypto on the planet.
“We've already figured out a way to take carbon — which is considered a global liability for whatever reason — and we've been able to monetize it six ways.” Companies and governments are willing to pay a premium for these carbon credits.
“We can take other people's liability or trash, if you will, and make it our treasure. That's why North Dakota is a highly specialized location for some of these crypto miners. Plus, there’s a low price of electrons compared to the rest of the country. There’s also access to abundant gas reserves. The sky's the limit in my opinion for the crypto industry.”
Smaller crypto mining operations have already established themselves in the Bakken oil fields, in north-central North Dakota. They are powered by leftover natural gas that would have otherwise been burned into the atmosphere. While using a byproduct to power miners is a good thing, there are other countries using renewables to power their mining industry.
Norway’s Bitcoin mining credentials seem world-class with the small Scandinavian country hosting 0.77% of Bitcoin’s hash rate using 100% green, renewable energy.